Changing wallpapers is one of the very few customization options on iOS. It’s a neat little trick that breathes new life into your iPhone’s Home Screen and Lock Screen and adds to their visual appeal.

automatically change iphone wallpapers
IMAGE: Sebastian Bednarek (Unsplash)

However, the standard approach to changing wallpapers, which involves finding an image and setting it as wallpaper, can be quite tedious for some users and may discourage them from changing wallpapers frequently.

Fortunately, thanks to the built-in Shortcuts app on iPhones, it’s much easier to change wallpapers (even live wallpapers), and there are many ways you can choose to do this. In fact, you may have probably already seen many shortcuts that automatically change your iPhone’s background.

We aim to one-up this by helping you create a shortcut that can find wallpapers from your favorite wallpaper resource on the internet and apply them at your will. Follow along as we list the instructions to help you set up this shortcut on your iPhone.

How to Create a Shortcut to Change the Wallpaper on Your iPhone

First, make sure your iPhone is running iOS 14.3 or higher and that the Shortcuts app on your iPhone is updated to the latest version. Then, open Shortcuts and follow the instructions below to create a new shortcut:

  1. Click on the plus (+) icon on the Shortcuts home page.
    creating a shortcut to change wallpaper
  2. Enter a name for this shortcut in the Shortcut Name field. (To change its icon, tap on the icon beside it and select a glyph and its color on the next screen.)
  3. Click on the Add Action button, tap on the Search for apps and actions search box, and search for URL. Click on the URL action to add it to the action workflow.adding a name for new shortcut
  4. Tap on it again and enter the URL of the website from where you want to use new wallpapers. We’re using Unsplash to look for featured images of Space. Hence, our URL: To use nature, mountain, etc., replace space in the URL to make the shortcut lookup wallpapers in your specified category on Unsplash. [Learn more about Unsplash Source] adding unsplash source to shortcut
  5. Shortcuts will now recommend a few related actions you can use with the URL action under Next Action Suggestions. Click on the Get Contents of URL action. If you don’t see it, tap on the search box at the bottom, search for Get contents of URL, and add it.
    get image from unsplash
  6. Next, search for another action, Get images from input action, and add it to the workflow. Make sure its input is Contents of URL.
    get an image from unasplash
  7. Again, look up the Resize Image action. Ensure its input is set to Images, and then specify the width or height for the image. You can choose to input either of them manually and have the other set to Auto.
    resize image
  8. Similarly, search for the Set Wallpaper action and add it. Tap on Lock Screen and Home Screen in this action, and on the following screen, choose which wallpaper you want to change. Also, make sure the action is using Images as the input.
    set wallpaper
  9. Tap on the arrow in the Set Wallpaper action and disable the Show Preview option to change your wallpaper directly—without being prompted.
    change wallpaper without preview
  10. Finally, check if all actions are linked. If not, go over the steps again.

Once you’ve created the shortcut workflow, hit the play icon at the bottom of the screen to run it. You’ll now be prompted to allow the shortcut to connect to Unsplash Source. Hit Allow to proceed.

If you added all the actions correctly, you should have a new wallpaper on your iPhone.

How to Change Your iPhone Wallpaper Using Back Tap

Back Tap is another useful iPhone feature released with iOS 14. It’s essentially an accessibility feature that lets you double-tap or triple-tap on the back of your iPhone to trigger a range of actions. Plus, you can also use it to trigger shortcuts, which is what we’ll be doing to run our shortcut whenever we want new wallpaper for our iPhone.

Here are the steps to trigger a shortcut using Back Tap:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap on Accessibility > Touch.
    add wallpaper changing shortcut to back tap
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and tap on Back Tap.
    add wallpaper changing shortcut to back tap
  4. Depending on your preference, click on either Double Tap or Triple Tap.
  5. Scroll down to the Shortcuts section and click on the wallpaper-changing shortcut you just created.

Now, depending on whether you set the shortcut to Double or Triple Tap, perform that gesture on the back of your iPhone, and it should run the shortcut and change your iPhone’s wallpaper.

back tap to change iphone wallpaper

Change iPhone Wallpaper At a Particular Time of Day

While setting the wallpaper changing shortcut to Back Tap lets you change your iPhone’s wallpaper at will, you can also automate the shortcut to run automatically at a specific time of the day.

Follow these steps to do this:

  1. Open the Shortcuts app and tap on the Automation tab.
  2. Click on the plus (+) icon on the top-right and select Create Personal Automation on the New Automation screen.
    automate wallpaper changing on iphone
  3. Tap on the Time of Day action.
    setting time for changing iphone wallpaper
  4. On the following screen, add the time when you want the shortcut to run and change your iPhone’s wallpaper. Similarly, you can also set the frequency by selecting an option under REPEAT.
  5. Hit Next.
  6. Tap on the Add Action button, search for Run Shortcut and click on it to add it to the workflow.
    automate wallpaper changing shortcut
  7. Tap on the action again and select your wallpaper-changing shortcut from the list.
  8. Hit Next and disable the Ask Before Running option.
    running shortcut without prompt
  9. Finally, hit Done.

Now, your wallpaper-changing shortcut should run based on your time and frequency and, in turn, change your phone’s wallpaper.

Easily Change Your iPhone’s Wallpaper at Will

Using the Shortcuts app with the Back Tap feature gives you the ability to change your iPhone’s wallpaper at your will easily and eliminates the need to go over the entire process manually. Thus, making the wallpaper changing process much more convenient and efficient.

Was this article helpful?